‘The end of the story of my daughter, my wife’: the victims of the Sri Lanka attacks
Most who died were locals, but victims – including children – came from across the world
Relatives mourn during a burial ceremony for bomb blast victims at a cemetery in Colombo on Wednesday. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that 359 people were killed in a wave of suicide bombings on the island on Easter Sunday. Since then, the names and stories of those who died have begun to emerge. This list does not include all the victims, the vast majority of whom were Sri Lankans.
Shantha Mayadunne and Nisanga Mayadunne
The Sri Lankan TV chef Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter Nisanga were killed in the blast at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. Nisanga posted a picture on Facebook shortly before the explosion with the title “Easter breakfast with my family”.
Dulip Appuhami, Dulakghi Appuhami and Vimukthi Appuhami
Dulip Appuhami and his two young children, Dulakghi and Vimukthi, were killed when the suicide bomb was detonated at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo.
“You won’t believe it, but I had the perfect family,” said his wife, Anusha Kumari, who survived the blast. “In 24 years of marriage, my husband and I never argued. All four of us slept in the same room. Now I have lost everything.”
The 12-year-old died while attending the Easter service at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo. As reported by al-Jazeera, at her funeral, her aunt Lalitha said: “I wanted to see you as a bride, but now, you’re in this box.”
Berlington Joseph Gomez, Chandrika Arumugam and three children Bevon, Clavon and Avon
Berlington Joseph Gomez (33) and his wife, Chandrika Arumugam (31), and their three sons, Bevon (9), Clavon (6), and Avon (11 months), were all killed in the blast at St Anthony’s shrine in Colombo. “All family, all generation, is lost,” Gomez’s father told Associated Press.
Agnes Vnikprodha and Matthew
Agnes Vnikprodha (69) and her eight-month-old grandson, Matthew, were killed in the blast at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo.
K Pirathap, Anashdi Pirathap, Antinaa Pirathap and Abriyaana Pirathap
K Pirathap (38), his wife Anashdi (35) and their two daughters, Antinaa (7) and Abriyaana (1) were attending Easter mass at St Anthony’s shrine, Colombo.
Carpenter Dileep Roshan (37) was killed in the blast at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo. “His wife and daughter won’t be able to do much now because he is gone,” said his older brother, Sanjeevani Roshan. “The real question is: what will happen to their future?”
Tyonne Gulding, Gayani Fernando and Mary Anaslyn
Rickshaw driver Tyonne Gulding (56) was killed along with his wife, Gayani Fernando, and mother-in-law Mary Anaslyn.
Jiyasha Sheshani Janz and Dineesha Geetani de Vaas
Jiyasha Sheshani Janz (12) and her mother Dineesha Geetani de Vaas were killed in the explosion at St Sebastian’s church in Negombo.
Seven-year-old Dhulodh Anthony was killed in the attack on St Sebastian’s church in Negombo. He was buried at a Methodist cemetery in Negombo.
Twenty-eight-year-old Subramani Christopher was killed when he was attending mass at St Anthony’s with his wife and young son. They had only recently married.
Thirukumaran Shalom Malshya
Thirukumaran Shalom Malshya was the teenage son of the pastor of Protestant Zion church in Batticaloa, Pastor Ganesh Thirukumaran. Thirukumaran told al-Jazeera that his son had welcomed the suicide bomber into the church before he was killed in the attack.
Sharon Santhakumar and Sarah Santhakumar
Twelve-year-old Sharon Santhakumar and his younger sister Sarah were killed at the explosion at the Protestant Zion church in Batticaloa.
Anita Nicholson, Alex Nicholson and Annabel Nicholson
Anita Nicholson, a 42-year-old lawyer based in Singapore, her son, Alex (14) and daughter, Annabel (11), died when a suicide bomber detonated a device in the breakfast queue at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. Ben Nicholson (43) was the only person in his family to survive the attack.
K Pirathap, his wife, Anashdi (35) and daughters Antinaa (7)
and Abriyaana (1)
The whole family were among the dead at St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo; they had gone to worship in a celebratory mood after he had bought a new auto-rickshaw, the New York Times reported.
His brother got a call about a loud explosion and went to look for his relatives. Hours later he found their bodies lined up at the church.
Lorraine Campbell (55) was a British IT director from Manchester who was living in Dubai and had travelled to Sri Lanka for work. She was staying at the Cinnamon Grand hotel and was last seen on CCTV having breakfast with a colleague moments before the bomber detonated a device at the restaurant.
Her son Mark Campbell told the Daily Mail: “I have been told it is her although she has got to be formally identified. I know it is my mum. She has been taken from us in a terrible way.”
The eight-year-old, a relative of the Bangladeshi prime minister, was killed while having breakfast with his father at a hotel in Colombo, when a suicide bomber detonated his device.
Sally Bradley and Bill Harrop
Sally Bradley, a GP, and her husband, Bill Harrop, a retired firefighter, were from Manchester but lived in Perth, Australia. They died in the Cinnamon Grand hotel bombing.
Rangana and Danadiri Fernando, and their children Biola (6), Leona (4) and Seth ( 11 months)
The family were all killed in the attack on St Sebastian’s church in Negombo, north of the capital, the BBC reported.
“Farewell Danadiri and family, we will remember you all in our prayers,” read a tribute from her colleagues. “She was a dedicated and diligent worker, but above all a kind and caring soul. She will be dearly missed.”
Ramesh Raju, hero of Zion church
Raju was at the Easter service at Zion evangelical church in Batticaloa when a stranger carrying a large backpack tried to enter, saying he wanted to film the service. But Raju told the man he could not enter with a large bag and forced him outside the church. Just after he did so, the bomb detonated, the BBC reported.
He leaves behind a wife, Chrishanthini, who was a Sunday school teacher, and two children, all of whom were attending the service with him.
The 13-year-old, an eighth grade student and an only child, had been standing near the entrance of Zion church in Batticaloa after finishing Sunday school when the bomber struck. He was killed instantly, his father, Arasaratnam Verl, told the Times of India.
Sharon and Sarah Santhakumar
Twelve-year-old Sharon and his 11-year-old sister, Sarah, were among a large group of children killed at Zion church. They were clustered near the door after finishing Sunday school class. The siblings were buried next to each other the day after they were killed, the BBC reported.
Amelie Linsey and Daniel Linsey
Amelie (15) and her brother, Daniel (19), were killed at the Shangri-La hotel on the final day of their holiday while trying to escape the first blast, according to family members. Godolphin and Latymer school in west London, where Amelie studied, said: “We’re obviously devastated and shocked . . . our priority is supporting her family and the students here.”
Westminster Kingsway College, where Daniel was studying business, said it was “shocked and saddened”, and was offering counselling to students and staff who knew him.
Three unnamed children of the Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen
Three children of the billionaire fashion tycoon behind Asos also died. Anders Holch Povlsen, Denmark’s wealthiest man and one of the largest landowners in Scotland, lost three of his four children. A spokesman for his company declined to give further details.
BADN Shantha (50), TAA Yaheya (36), GMD Sanjeewani (35), MHM Ibrahim (23) and MNM Nisthar (21)
Five of the victims in the attack at the Cinnamon Grand hotel were employees, killed when the bomber targeted the hotel’s restaurant, a spokeswoman said.
“It’s Sunday morning during buffet breakfast so it’s one of our busiest periods,” a Cinnamon Grand hotel spokesman told the BBC. “They were servers at the restaurant. One of them was working at the live food stations making hoppers [a Sri Lankan pancake].”
Three of the victims, Yaheya, Ibrahim and Nisthar, were Muslims. Shantha was a Sinhalese Catholic and Sanjeewani was a Sinhalese Buddhist, the spokeswoman said.
Manik Suriaaratchi and Alexendria Suriaaratchi
Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter, Alexendria, were killed in the blast at St Sebastian’s in Negombo. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, they had moved to Sri Lanka five years ago.
Sudesh Kolonne, the husband and father of the two killed, had been standing outside the church when the blast hit. “I heard a huge noise and I jumped into the church and I saw that my wife and my daughter were on the floor,” he told the ABC.
“I just saw my daughter on the floor and I tried to lift her up, [but]she was already dead. And, exactly the same … next my wife is there. That’s the end of the story of my daughter, my wife.”
Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, confirmed two Australians were killed in the attacks. “It is just the most sickening of news,” Morrison said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for him to lose a little 10-year-old girl, to lose his wife, Manik. His whole world has been rocked by these events. We just have to reach out and hold them and hold each other as Australians.”
The Portuguese citizen, an electrical engineer aged 31, was on his honeymoon with his wife, Sílvia Ramos, when he was killed. He had gone to get some more food from the buffet when the bomber struck, the Portuguese newspaper Correio da manhã reported.
“She told me that it was all very fast. He got up and soon after there was an explosion and the room filled with smoke. After she managed to see Rui. He was in front of her, dead,” a family friend who had spoken with the widow told the paper.
Mary Otricia Johnson
Johnson was among the victims at St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the New York Times reported. She was at mass with her family; her eldest daughter, Sharon Silviya, survived after taking her son to see a fish tank at the front of the church just before the blast.
Fernando worked at a restaurant close to St Anthony’s Shrine and was killed while attending mass with his wife, Delicia, his son and two daughters. Father and son were at the back of the church, the others at the front.
After the explosion, and the collapse of the church ceiling, the son went running for his mother. “Father is there! Father is there!” he yelled. Fernando, who was covered in dust and debris, made it to hospital but died there, the New York Times reported.
Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa
A fifth grader at the prestigious Sidwell Friends school in Washington DC, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa had been on a leave of absence from the school for a year, living in Sri Lanka, the New York Times reported.
Sidwell Friends is a Quaker private school that educated the daughters of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Parents and students were informed on Monday.
Lakshmana Gowda Ramesh, KM Lakshminarayan, M Rangappa, KG Hanumantharayappa, Sri Hanumaiah Shivakumar, H Puttaraju, A Maregowda
Seven members of an Indian political party from southern Karnataka, who had gone to Sri Lanka to take a break after the end of the general election in their state, were among those killed at the Shangri-La.
The Karnataka chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy, who is also leader of the Janata Dal Secular party, named the dead on Twitter and said two others were missing. “I am deeply pained at the loss of their lives in the heinous attack,” he said. “They were also committed workers of our party and their death has brought immense sorrow to us.”
Razeena Khader Kukkady
A Sri Lankan citizen originally from Kerala but living in Dubai, Razeena Khader Kukkady (60) had travelled to Colombo to meet relatives.
Her husband had left for Dubai on the morning of the attacks but she was taking a later flight to India. She was killed just after checking out of the Shangri-La.
“Her life was just snubbed out in a few hours,” her brother-in-law Usman Kukkady told the New Indian Express.
SR Nagaraj (46) was a businessman from Karnataka, India, who was critically injured in the blast at the Shangri-La. On Tuesday he died from his injuries.
Vemurai Tulsi Ram
Vemurai Tulsi Ram, 35, a businessman from Hyderabad, India, was killed at the Shangri-La hotel. He had travelled to Sri Lanka to meet his business partner.
Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus
Narici was an engineer from Turkey who had moved to Colombo in 2017. The BBC reported he had been working at the US embassy in Sri Lanka.
“He sent me a WhatsApp message this morning at 5am saying ‘good morning’. That was the last I heard from him,” his father, Baba Mehmet Narici, told the Anadolu state news agency.
“He was a brilliant child. He graduated with honours from the Istanbul Technical University and spoke two languages.”
The other Turkish victim – Yigit Ali Cavus – was also an engineer.
Takahashi (39), a Japanese citizen, had been living in Sri Lanka with her husband and their two young children, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK. They were having breakfast at one of the hotels that was attacked.
Her husband and one child were among the injured, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported. She had been due to return to Japan in May, the newspaper said.
Ahmed Zain al-Jaafari and Hani Majed Othman
The Saudi embassy in Sri Lanka named two citizens but gave no other details, the BBC reported.
Saudi Arabia’s national airline had earlier said two crew members were unaccounted for and another had been taken to hospital with minor injuries, but the statement did not mention their nationalities. Reports said the crew members were staying at the Cinnamon Grand hotel.
Maria Gonzalez Vincente and Alberto Chaves
The couple came from a small town in Galicia in northwest Spain. Chaves (31) worked for a frozen food company in India and had met up with Vincente (32) in Sri Lanka for a holiday, El País newspaper reported. They were staying at the Kingsbury hotel.
The 40-year-old Denver resident was killed during a business trip for the publisher Pearson. “Let the fun begin,” he wrote on his Facebook page before he left, CBS Denver reported.
John Fallon, Pearson’s CEO, said Kowalski had just arrived at his hotel when he was killed in an explosion. “We’re angry that a good man, who took simple pleasure in fixing things, has been killed, along with many others, by evil men and women who know only how to destroy,” Fallon wrote in a note to staff.
Allen (54), a Dutch citizen, was on holiday in Sri Lanka with her husband and three sons. She had gone down for breakfast with one son, while her husband and two other sons stayed upstairs. While they were eating, the bomber attacked, a Dutch paper reported.
“My son Jason and my wife were sitting right next to each other. And then the explosion happened,” her husband, Lewis Allen, told the BBC. “My son blacked out for a few minutes. And he woke up and he saw his mother with a big head wound and lots of blood.”
Two Swiss citizens
Switzerland said two of its citizens, one with dual nationality, had been killed in the attacks, the BBC reported. It did not name them.
One Chinese citizen
China’s embassy said a Chinese national had been killed and five others wounded in the attacks. Five other Chinese nationals were missing. It did not name them. – Guardian